Coloradans can Try Smell Test for Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) focuses on improving knowledge about the disease, finding an objective test for Parkinson’s, and engaging patients in research and supporting the development of new treatments and a cure. In line with that, MJFF offers a free smell test that might be an indicator for Parkinson’s. Why a smell test? Because, according to MJFF research, 96% of those newly diagnosed with PD have lost some ability to smell, and smell loss may precede Parkinson’s by up to 10 years. MJFF adds that 7 in 10 people have lost some ability to smell but don’t know it. Of course, not everyone who loses ability to smell has Parkinson’s. MJFF notes that scientists do not know why smell loss occurs in Parkinson’s, but one theory is that the Parkinson’s process may start in the olfactory bulb, a part of the brain that controls sense of smell. Researchers are studying this link to learn more. MJFF says “We’re asking everyone age 60 and up without a Parkinson’s diagnosis to take a smell test to help scientists learn more about risk.” If interested, visit mysmelltest.org where you will answer a few brief questions to receive your scratch-and-sniff test in the mail. You then take the test (requires about 15 minutes) and enter your answers online. Your results may make you eligible to join a brain health study. More details about the Michael J. Foundation’s goals, research, recent happenings, and other PD-related information are available at https://www.michaeljfox.org/.

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